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Sounders FC

Daily coverage of Seattle Sounders FC, MLS and world soccer.

March 23, 2012 at 11:41 PM

Sigi Schmid: “I was pleased with the way our team came in and battled.” (postgame quotes)

evans houston.jpgPhoto credit: John Lok, The Seattle Times (full gallery here)

* * *

SIGI SCHMID, Sounders FC head coach

(Opening statement…) “Over the course of the season, you’ve got to win games in different ways. Today was a little more of one of those games where you’ve just got to roll up your sleeves and you’ve got to battle and persevere. I thought Houston played very well at times and had control of the game at certain times, but I thought we showed a very good resiliency. We scored two timely goals — the goal and the PK, which I think was a PK — and in the second half I think we held our own. We should have maybe got a third through Roger on that one chance, but I was pleased with the way our team came in and battled and the character they showed today.”

(On David Estrada getting another goal, somewhat fortuitously…) “It’s going good. When it’s going good, it’s going good, so you can shoot on goal and get a little bit of a deflection and score goals. But he did well. When you work really hard, you get rewarded.”

(On Michael Gspurning’s play…) “I thought Michael had a very good game tonight. He made that one save early in the game when the score was 0-0, the one that he tipped over the bar going to his right and he tipped it over with his left hand. I thought he did well. He came out and did well on a couple of crosses, ones he punched out and collected. I thought it was a good game tonight for Michael’s confidence and also for the fans to see his quality tonight.”

(On using Scott and Levesque as injury replacements…) “Well, obviously Zach Scott we thought was a good choice at right back because he’s going to win those aerial duels and those battles, and I think he helped us defensively, for sure. Roger is never going to short you on work rate. We maybe weren’t as creative on the right-hand side as we are at times, for sure, but I thought both of the guys did what they needed to do in terms of the effort they put in. I thought they did a good job of bottling up Brad Davis. I didn’t think you saw a whole lot of Brad Davis. In fact, you saw more of maybe Corey Ashe coming forward. That’s because we concentrated on Brad. That was really a responsibility of Zach and Roger, and I thought they did a good job there.”

(You had a chat with Brad Davis on the sideline at one point. What did you talk about?) “On the second one, he said he didn’t hit Flaco. But the other one, Burch definitely has a little bit of a welt on his head from that one. So you know…”

(On Brad Evans’ injury…) “He should be all right. He felt his hamstring a little bit, so he wanted to get off the field before he would make it worse. I thought today early in the game he made a lot of big runs for us getting into the box and was dangerous for us in that way and that might have been a little too much today.”

(On starting Patrick Ianni over Jeff Parke for the second straight game…) “Again, sometimes you don’t want to change a winning team. We won last week 3-1, defensively we did all right. It’s Patrick’s old team, so you’re always a little more motivated, a little more geared up to play your old team. He knows Ching; he’s trained against him on a daily basis for a lot of years. So we felt that familiarity and based upon the fact that we got a good result last week, we didn’t want to change the middle pair.”

(On if Jeff Parke is healthy…) “Parke is healthy, ready to go.”

(On earning a shutout victory…) “You always want to get shutouts. We talk about it. We talk about making sure we don’t allow anything, because we always feel confident that we’re going to be able to score a goal. But it’s not like, ‘shutout-or-bust’. It’s not that kind of an attitude.”

(On the offensive rhythm without Rosales…) “I thought it was a little disjointed at times. I thought at times we had some good combinations. I thought Burch did a very good job in the first half of playing some balls down the line. We were trying to get behind Hainault and I thought we did that well in the first half — there were a lot of good balls that he played. But at times it was a little bit disjointed. Part of that is also the way Houston plays and the pressure they put on you. They’re always niggling at you; they’re always trying to get a piece of the ball.”

(Are you concerned that Fredy Montero doesn’t have an assist or a goal?) “No. It’ll come. He’s always been a streaky guy, and his streak and his time will come.”

(On the continuity between the goalkeeper and the defense…) “Obviously any time you get a shutout, it’s everybody. It’s David Estrada chasing back at times; it’s Roger pinching in. Flaco I thought helped out as well defensively and did a good job of making sure Hainault didn’t get forward. You look at it now and if you include the Santos game we’ve played seven different guys in the back, but I feel confident in all of those guys and their defending. Michael knows them and he’s played behind them, so it doesn’t make that much of a difference as to who’s playing. I think they have a good understanding of each other.”

(On if he will stick with Roger Levesque in the starting lineup at midfielder…) “We’ll see. We’ve got to see how guys recover from injuries right now, where we’re at, how the matchups look for us as we play San Jose. We’ll take a look when they play, as well, and we’ll come to a decision.”

(How long will Rosales be out?) “Don’t know. He’s already started jogging at this point, so it’s a matter of we see how he does day-to-day. He did some good work yesterday, did a little bit today and we’ll see.”

DAVID ESTRADA, Sounders FC forward

(Did you know what was going on with the scoring of your goal?) “I was a little bit bummed when I came in at halftime and I heard it was an own goal. Thankfully they reviewed it and they gave it me. I’ll take it.”

(In your celebration, were you unsure?) “Everything that I hit is going in. (laughs) Luck, but I work so hard for it. Thankfully it went in.”

(Did you think it was on target?) “When I hit it, I thought it was on target. Then I saw the replay and thennnnn … it was questionable. (laughs) But they gave it to me.”

(How’s your confidence after four goals in two games?) “It’s the same — just keep myself grounded, keep working. I think I do some things when I don’t have the ball that the coaches really like, and that is what’s going to keep me on the field. And I’m more than willing to do that.”

(Do you ever wonder why you didn’t make this move sooner?) “No. I don’t know, but I’m just thankful to be in this position today and I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing.”

(What’d you think about the team’s defensive performance?) “Absolutely. Will Bruin. Brian Ching. They’re a very good pairing and I think (the defense) did a very good job. Michael Gspurning came up with a few good saves. It’s a team effort tonight.”

BRAD EVANS, Sounders FC midfielder

(On the hamstring…) “I felt it a little bit on the ball that Burch played through in the second half and then I played the next five minutes on it. I just figured there’s (30) minutes left in the game, better safe than sorry.”

(What are you thinking when you step up to take the PK?) “It’s just confidence and stepping up. Pick your spot and take it. If the keeper saves it, it should be a good save. Sometimes you have to mix it up and (having) a little confidence there. … It’s a chance to go 2-0 up and create a gap for us going into halftime. It’s just the same as last time.”

(On both of the goals coming from set pieces…) “That’s what we work on after almost every practice is set pieces. Even though we’re playing against a extremely good team defensively, both of our goals came off set pieces really. The first one was a clearance, header out, just a good challenge and then David gets a fortunate bounce on that shot. The next one is a PK on the corner kick. You don’t think going into this game you’re going to get two off of set pieces, but that’s why we practice them. We could have gone 3-0 up and created a good gap, but things happen, and at least we converted two.”

(On responding to a new-look right side…) “It becomes a different game when those two guys (Rosales and Johansson) are out. You kind of looking at that throughout the week. We had a week to prepare with Roger on the right and Zach coming in two days ago, so you know what you’re going to get every time from those two guys — it’s going to be hard, solid work. Is it as creative? No, it’s not. Are the crosses coming in? No. But defensively it helps out a lot, especially playing against a team with Brad Davis who last year was one of the best players in the league and this year he’ll do the same again. He was not a non-factor tonight, but the guys hit very well defensively against him.”

MICHAEL GSPURNING, Sounders FC goalkeeper

(On the game…) “The game was tough. We knew we had to fight today. It was a very decent game. They (Houston) showed today that they are a good team and they were not for nothing in the final last season. We knew this before, we took the fight, and we won. It’s great. Maybe we can play better soccer, but on the fighting and defense-wise, (it) was great stuff.”

(On defending Houston’s corner kicks…) “These balls are always tough but we did our job. [Goalkeeping coach Tom Dutra] told me the whole week that those balls are coming because they have amazing corner kicks and free kicks, so I was prepared. I was prepared for it and I’m happy I’ve done the job.”

(Answer joined in progress…) “That’s what we practiced all week. It was good preparation from the coaches. I knew that they were good at set pieces and I had to come out. You’re preparing all week for this game and these 90 minutes, if you then bring the performance into the 90 minutes, it’s perfect. It shows all the hard work is for something good, and not for nothing.”

(On being comfortable with a changing defense…) “Absolutely. We’re in a good position with a team with 25-26 players and everybody can play. This is great. You need a team like this to come through the playoffs and have success all season long. You need every player on the squad.”

(How nice was it to get a second goal right after the first?) “It’s always good and sometimes you think that, but to be honest, as a ‘keeper you’re always in the situation that for you the game is 0-0. You have to be focused on every ball, so even if you’re leading 4-0 or 5-0 you’re into the game. You don’t know what will happen if you have a 2-0 lead. … It’s good and it’s great, but always keep going until the last minute.”

DOMINIC KINNEAR, Dynamo head coach

(On taking away any positives from the match tonight…) “We played pretty good tonight. We had about a 10-minute spell there in the first half where we kind of lost our way up to a little bit of luck and then the penalty- I’ve got to take a look at it again, it’s hard to tell. You call a penalty in a corner… I think every corner you can call a penalty. It’s just the way it went. We lost our way for a little bit, but all-in-all I thought it was a good, spirited performance by us. We got that last little area where we weren’t putting in the killer ball and that’s the way the game went.”

(On how Geoff Cameron was at halftime after an unfortunate first half…) “He was fine. I said to the guys in here to just get those 10 minutes out of the way, if we can get a goal that brings our way up and puts some pressure on them. We were fine at halftime.”

(On earning six points out of a possible nine on their current road trip…) “That’s good. I think when you take a step back, it is. But you look at tonight and you see we’ve lost our first game of the year, albeit to a good team. But yeah, six out of nine, winning your first two out of three — it could be a lot worse.”

(On being the only Eastern Conference team to have won out west this year…) “That doesn’t matter. We’re just trying to beat whoever we play. It doesn’t matter if it’s East or West.”

(On if he is feeling an extra buzz about soccer with a new stadium in Houston…) “We’re still a little bit away. I think once we get to the closing week and we get to train inside the stadium… I think the whole build up to the game on May 12 there will be a great buzz about the place I think. We’ve been there for six years now, I think we’re pretty well respected as far as a professional sports franchise, but we’ve always been renting and now we have our own place. I think it definitely cements us as a franchise that’s going to stay and build in the community. I’m thrilled it’s going to happen. I’m not too excited now because there are still four games to go before we do get that May 12 game. But you talk to me on May 10 or May 11 I’ll have butterflies and for many good reasons.”

GEOFF CAMERON, Dynamo defender

(On the result…) “I thought we played pretty well. We came out pretty sharp in the first half. We had opportunities. There were seven minutes that were bad. I don’t think it was a PK… the deflection… it didn’t go our way, but I thought we played pretty well. We did some good things and I think we’ve got to hold our heads up high. Deflections are part of the game. We should have had a PK toward the end — same call — unfortunate, but you’ve got to take the good out of this game and we’ve got a couple weekends off to be focused for Chicago.”

(On what some of the good things he saw were…) “We switched the fields, we had play, one, two-touch, in and out – outside mid to center mid to forwards holding up the ball, laying off. We did some really good things. We didn’t finish the opportunities. But that’s something to be proud of, that we had some of our best soccer this year. Just watching from the back we played them off the clock for 15-20 minutes at a time, but you get those two opportunities in those seven minutes that we weren’t really together – the deflection and the PK kind of bites you in the butt.”

(On the penalty kick…) “I don’t think it was a penalty. He’s going for the ball, gave him a nudge like any other guy would do and what not. I don’t want to get myself in trouble, but I don’t think it was a PK. He got the ball, did just enough to get him off-balanced a little bit. It’s just one of those things.”

* * *

SOUNDERS FC 2, HOUSTON DYNAMO 0

Scoring summary:

SEA — David Estrada (un) 23′

SEA — Brad Evans (pk) 27′

Seattle Sounders FC: Michael Gspurning, Zach Scott, Patrick Ianni, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Marc Burch, Roger Levesque (Leo Gonzalez 81′), Brad Evans (Servando Carrasco 61′), Osvaldo Alonso, Alvaro Fernandez, Fredy Montero (Christian Sivebaek 90′), David Estrada.

Substitutes Not Used: Bryan Meredith, Sammy Ochoa, Alex Caskey, Jeff Parke.

STATS — Shots: 7 (seven with one). Shots on goal: 2. Fouls: 10 (Alonso, Montero, Hurtado 2). Offsides: 0. Corner kicks 5 (Fernandez 4). Saves: 2 (Gspurning 2).

Houston Dynamo: Tally Hall, Andre Hainault (Jermaine Taylor 45′), Bobby Boswell, Geoff Cameron, Corey Ashe, Colin Clark, Adam Moffat, Je-Vaughn Watson (Luiz Carmargo 67′), Brad Davis, Brian Ching (Macoumba Kandji 76′), Will Bruin.

Substitutes Not Used: Tyler Deric, Calen Carr, Nathan Sturgis, Cam Weaver

STATS — Shots: 9 (Bruin 3). Shots on goal: 2 (Bruin 2). Fouls: 11 (Moffat 3). Offsides: 0. Corner kicks: 6 (Davis 6). Saves: 0.

Misconduct summary:

HOU — Adam Moffat (foul) 35′

HOU — Brad Davis (foul) 78′

SEA — Alvaro Fernandez (dissent) 83′

Referee: Baldomero Toledo

Referee’s assistants: Ian Anderson, Fabio Tovar

Fourth official: Jasen Anno

Attendance: 38,304

Time of game: 2:13

Weather: 51 degrees and partly cloudy

All statistics contained in the box score are unofficial.

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